JOHANNESBURG - The large“not for sale” sign SuperSport United placed on Jeremy Brockie while Mamelodi Sundowns were prepared to break the bank for his services motivates the New Zealand forward even though he handed in a transfer request.
The Brazilians were keen on signing Brockie as coach Pitso Mosimane felt that a “sniper” would complete the African champions. But Matsatsantsa a Pitori weren’t budging. Their chief executive Stanley Matthews hit out at Sundowns and Brockie, saying that they will not be bullied into making a decision that wasn’t good for the club. Brockie stayed on the blue side of Tshwane and helped SuperSport reach the final of the MTN8 which they won on Saturday.
“It was flattering seeing two big teams fight over me,” Brockie said. “I saw it as a compliment. It boosted my confidence. SuperSport’s insistence that they will not be selling me motivated me to do well because that shows the faith they have in me.
"A lot of people thought it would disturb me but it did the opposite. I am driven to repay them for the faith that they have shown in me. I accepted their decision and focused on my game because I am a professional. My loyalty to them can’t be questioned.”
Brockie has ingrained himself and his family to South Africa since arriving in the country two years ago. His children stole many hearts with the video of them singing the South African national anthem and that of them chanting Siphiwe Tshabalala’s surname in Kaizer Chiefs’ clash against SuperSport, while Brockie was on the field.
The Kiwi forward is looking to endear himself to the country even more by helping SuperSport reach the final of the CAF Confederation Cup. Matsatsantsa left the country on Thursday to take on Tunisian side Club Africain at Stade Olympique de Rades on Sunday 8pm South African time in the second leg of their semifinal clash after the first leg ended 1-1.
“I feel at home here. It would mean a lot to be part of the SuperSport team that gave the country another continental title. When we moved to South Africa, we didn’t know what to expect," Brockie added.
"But we have been won over by the people and the culture. I am grateful that they have even given me a nickname (Hluphizwe). My children have embraced the country. They sing the national anthem to us almost every day, some days I am woken up to it.”
The 30-year-old forward is hoping to add to the nine goals that make him the joint-top goalscorer with Karim Aouadhi of CS Sfaxien in the Confederation Cup.
Finishing as the top goalscorer and a Confederation Cup champion would further enhance Brockie’s CV that already has two Nedbank Cup titles and the MTN8.
“We do well in these cup competitions because of the squad we have,” Brockie said. “There are a lot of experienced players in the team who know how to carry us in difficult situations. We know how to rise when the chips are down.
"We trailed 1-0 against Cape Town City for the most part of the final but we never panicked because we knew we had the character and fighting spirit to come back. We did that and won the MTN8. We didn’t give up even when our players were falling all over the show due to cramps.”
SuperSport will have their first training session in Tunisia since the energy-sapping MTN8 final, coach Eric Tinkler gave them time to rest and recover.
“We have spoken a lot on our desire to make history by becoming the first SuperSport team to win this trophy,” Brockie said. “We are almost there.”